Will Entering Sweepstakes Too Often Disqualify You?

Oops! Did you enter a sweepstakes too many times.
Oops! Did you enter a sweepstakes too often? Here's what to do. Image (c) Yuri_Arcurs / EPlus / Getty Images

Help! I Entered a One-Time Sweepstakes Twice! Will I Be Disqualified?

Have you ever come across a one-time entry sweepstakes with a great prize, and entered it... only to realize that you had entered the same sweep a few weeks ago? Have you ruined your chance of winning? Will you be disqualified?

How to Avoid the Too-Many Entry Problem:

If you want to win sweepstakes, I heartily recommend living by the rules (reading the sweepstakes rules carefully and abiding by them).

Keeping track of the sweepstakes you've entered and being sure not to duplicate your entries will help you avoid problems that could get you disqualified in the first place.

Two good ways to help prevent multiple entries include:

  • Use bookmarks to keep track of the sweepstakes you've entered.
  • Use Diigo to mark sweepstakes you've entered.

It's also important to be clear about how often you can legally enter. If you're not sure what a term in the rules means, check out my guide to sweepstakes entry restrictions for more information.

But What If You've Already Entered Too Often?

Everybody makes mistakes sometimes, and I think that most sweepers have accidentally entered too often on occasion. Perhaps you forgot you had entered the sweepstakes, or the deadline was extended and you thought that it was a different contest, or maybe you simply clicked the "submit" button twice by accident.

So if you make a mistake and enter a sweepstakes more often than the rules allow, will you be disqualified and lose any chance to win?

The answer is: sometimes.

In general, sweepstakes sponsors have two ways of handling duplicate entries: they either disqualify all entries made by the offender, or they only count the first entry made. (If it's a daily sweepstakes, the sponsor can choose to disqualify the entrant from the entire sweepstakes, disqualify all entries made that day, or discard all entries made after the first).

If the sponsor chooses to discard only the entries made over the limit stated in the rules, then you still have a chance to win.

How can you tell which method the sweepstakes sponsor uses? In most cases, it will be stated in the rules. If the sweepstakes rules don't mention how duplicate entries are handled, you need to cross your fingers or contact the sponsor directly to ask.

What to Do If You Can't Remember If You Entered or Not:

OK, so what if it's a single-entry sweepstakes, and it looks familiar... but you can't remember if you entered or not?

You might check your web browser's history, to see if you visited the sweepstakes' website recently.

If that doesn't help, and you really have no idea if you entered or not... well, if you don't have an entry, you have no chance of winning. That's no worse than what will happen if you get disqualified. So it might be worth the risk.

If it's a daily-entry sweepstakes, you might want to skip that day's entry. Having ALL of your entries disqualified isn't worth the risk of getting one more entry. But before you decide, check the rules to see if they list their disqualification guidelines.

Want to read about other things that could be preventing you from winning sweepstakes? Read my Top Reasons Why You're Not Winning More Sweepstakes.

Want some great chances to win right now? Check out my Sweepstakes Directory to find the prizes you want to win.

And don't forget to sign up for my free Sweepstakes Newsletter to get new sweepstakes to enter and new winning tips in your inbox.